Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Animals make their mark by rubbing, digging, and/or relieving themselves on it. We sign our name.

Though abstract, a written name carries material power. It can be the difference between financial liberation and hindering debt, between getting a promotion and getting fired, going free or serving time, fact versus legend.

How we write our name is as unique as the fingerprints holding the pen, and it reveals something about us. If the prescriptions I've gotten filled are an indication, physicians are too busy to write carefully or feel that legibility is beneath them, while a slave's "X" on a pre-Abolition document is a tragic symbol of his captive illiteracy. 

Because inscription is so individual, it's also very emotional. It's why forgery feels like such a deep violation, and why collectors pay big money for autographs at auction: to feel closer to celebrities by acquiring their essence in ink.

More than fluent scribbling, the signature is the face of our penmanship, the insignia of ourselves.

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  1. I think ones signature is something he or she tries to perfect since understandings its important, coming up with a unique and authenitic signature is important.

  2. I see my high-school students practicing their signature all the time, like it's an aspect of their identity emerging.